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Religions of the Constantinian Empire$
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Mark Edwards

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Pagan Holiness?

Pagan Holiness?

(p.65) Chapter 4 Pagan Holiness?
Religions of the Constantinian Empire

Mark Edwards

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 begins with Arnobius’ challenge to produce credible models of holiness that can be compared to Christ. It argues that the treatise of Iamblichus On the Pythagorean Life may have been written with some knowledge of the gospels; it goes on to canvass other precepts for godly living in the writings of Iamblichus, and observes that, for a Platonist, he is unusually hospitable to astrology. Turning to the most prominent astrologer of this period, Firmicus Maternus, it argues that even when he composed his Mathesis he may have considered himself a Christian. The final example of pagan holiness is Apollonius of Tyana, whose feats were pronounced superior to those of Christ by Sossianus Hierocles; in summarizing the tract Against Hierocles which now contains what remains of his diatribe, the arguments for and against the attribution of this text to Eusebius are recapitulated. The chapter ends with a synopsis of the arguments used by Arnobius to prove the superiority of Christ.

Keywords:   Arnobius, Firmicus Amternus, Iamblichus, Eusebius of Caesarea, Hierocles, Apollonius of Tyana, miracles, holiness, astrology

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